The Original

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
John Barley has been kidnapped and cloned. The clone is now living his life in his place. He must find it and kill it. But, there is a terrible secret waiting around the corner!

Submitted: July 27, 2011

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Submitted: July 27, 2011

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Struggling against his kidnappers, trying to remove the ropes that they were rapping around him, John Barley saw the reason that they had brought him to this strange lab just by looking out the small, plastic window in front of him. What he saw was unbelievable. There, standing in a water-filled cylinder with tubes placed all around him, was his clone. It was his exact replica, slowly growing. It was a head slowly forming veins, arteries, muscle tissues, bones and organs beneath it.

That was all he saw until everything suddenly went black. Then, there he was in the same kind of water-filled tube that the clone was in, still watching it as it was shaping its feet. After a few minutes, it was finished and looked exactly the same as its original. Fear began to develop in John’s poor heart as the clone then began to move and struggle, as if trying to brake free. The horror of modern science then froze for a split second, before smashing the whole tube with one swift motion of the hand. The water then drained out in a huge waterfall as the clone took off its tubes and ran away, the alarm sounding all over the huge lab.

After this act, the unfortunate victim lost consciousness again, waking up after a few hours, furious about the injustice that had been done unto him. He then struggled just as the clone had and also broke through the huge, water-filled container. The painful sound of the alarm then rang loudly in John’ ears as he ran in the direction his clone had taken.

 

“Professor,” asked one of the students in the large laboratory. “Are you sure this cloning procedure will be a success. I mean, it does seem very unstable. How are you sure your clone won’t disobey you or betray you?”

“I will explain that later to you,” replied the old Professor Darwick calmly. “You’ll see my trick once the testing is finished. Do you know how this cloning procedure is conducted?”

“You scan the whole body onto the main computer and then use stem cells to create the tissues, organs and organ systems by assigning them tasks in special areas. You then use a plaster-like material to make the bone to support all those things. After that, you use a special psychological scanner to receive all the memories and thoughts of the person and then transmit them into the empty brain of the clone by means of invisible lasers.”

“You are mistaken. We do not need to scan the human bodies anymore. All we really need is just one hair. From this hair, we can examine the DNA of the person and create one to be the exact duplicate of that. All we need is encased in that wad of string: the information for the organs, the nose, eyes, hair, mouth, tissues, skin pigmentation, mostly the whole physical makeup of the person.

“Of course the brain is much more difficult to copy exactly. We will have to make it blank and only extract some important details of the person’s life. I can also input fake memories send it commands, but this is much more complicated.”

“Was it intended that the clone escape? I mean it’s already out of the building since you’ve planted no security whatsoever in its path. Why?”

“You’ll see, my young apprentice. Everything is planned out.”

“If you only need one hair and a few memories, why keep the original so long? Doesn’t it seem pointless to do so?”

“You know me, don’t you? I’m an expert scientist. I don’t do anything without a reason.”
The alarms then blared, “ORIGINAL HAS ESCAPED”. The young assistant trembled with fear, but the professor stayed completely calm, nodding his head silently, as if he was expecting for this to happen.

“He’s gotten past security,” mumbled the assistant. “HE’S HEADING HERE!!”

The vent on the ceiling then burst open as the naked John Barley dropped into the room, grunting like an ape and filled with rage. He had, despite his blind anger, snuck past the guards and had found an opening to the air ventilation system.

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?” he cried. “WHERE IS HE?? TELL ME SO I CAN RIP HIM TO PIECES!!!”

“You are a little confused, that is normal,” replied the horrified assistant as calmly as he could manage. “Just calm down and we can explain this….”

“I DON’T NEED YOUR USELESS EXPLANATIONS!!!!!!! ALL I NEED ARE THE WHEREABOUTS OF THE CLONE!! THAT HORRIBLE MIMIC OF ME THAT YOU HAVE CREATED WITH YOUR BLASTED SCIENCE!!!!”

“I’m afraid we can’t do that, since we don’t even know where he is [nervous laugh].”

“DAMN YOU!! YOU ARE NO USE TO ME!!!”

The enraged victim then searched underneath the cupboard that was placed on the wall to his left. His face then drew an evil smile as he pulled out a fairly large crowbar. Incessant mumbling then came behind the door of the small room, followed by yelling and many shots. Unfortunately for the two scientists, one seconds before the security guards had burst through the door, the culprit had already shut down all the power and lighting by smashing a certain part of the computer with his crowbar. Under the mixed confusion, John Barley then slipped through the garbage chute and landed into the building’s basement, into a huge dumpster full of strange organs and chemicals.

In that dumpster he hid, listening to the footsteps of the basement guard pacing the room. All of these things he had done to escape, they all seemed so familiar to him, like he had already predicted each move before. He hadn’t thought at all when trying to escape this infernal lab, just acted on instinct. This seemed so peculiar to him. Although, he had no time to ponder all this, for the moment came when he felt the instinct again. It was like blow inside of his body that made him leap out of the dumpster and onto the guard, who had his back turned at the moment.

 

“Professor,” the young assistant exclaimed when the power had been turned back on. “Don’t you want to send more security down to the basement? I mean one guard isn’t enough for that madman.”

“We don’t need to worry, child,” replied the Professor calmly. “Everything is going exactly as planned. I will soon have the clone within my grasp.”

What are you talking about? The clone has escaped and the original has gone after him and will likely kill him! Then our experiment will be terminated and all our hard work would’ve been for nothing! Damn it, why can’t you explain this to me?!”

“All in good time, child, all in good time.”

The still enraged John Barley now gazed at the horrible act he had done. The guard’s unconscious body lay on the floor, showing no sign of breathing. He had killed. He had done the worst crime upon humanity just for escape. Even though he had no choice but to kill, the thought still haunted him. Why did they have to make me come to such extreme measures? What is this game that they’re playing with me?

Still, he had no time to think, for that bump in the chest warned him of the approaching guards. He then stripped the guard of all his clothes, placed them on himself and then dumped the dead body into the huge dumpster. Other than the blood on the back of the helmet, the blue army-suit fit him very comfortably and enabled him to sneak past all the other guards on the detention level and take the elevator to the first floor. Once there, he then walked out of the large building via the automatic doors made of glass near the elevator leisurely and without any worry.

What he didn’t realize, though, was that those doors had a microscopic DNA scanner placed on them, triggering a silent alarm once the disguised man left the building. A whole army of suited-up guards with snipers and silenced rifles then poured out of the building, following his trail. Once realizing that an army was chasing him, John Barley then made for a dark alley, with many twists and turns like a small maze, which caused him to lose most of the guards.

He then hid in a dark corner of the alley, watching one of the heavily-armed soldiers move past him, stopping and then turning around. John’s breathing was heavy and he was sure that the guard would hear him and whack him off with his rifle. To his surprise though the guard just moved on, giving up and ordering all the others to return back to base.

He had outwitted them. Now he could escape and make off into the world, searching for his clone, who he already knew the whereabouts of. They surely must’ve made the clone to replace him and his life, meaning that it must’ve gone back to his house, thinking that it was the original. It always worked like this in the science-fiction movies.

The clone will be killed and his life will go back to normal, but right now, in the darkness of night, he was in no mood for it. The only thing that needed to be accomplished before daylight was the gathering of a new set of clothes, since in the morning he would be easy to spot by the guards wearing their uniform. This was done by another murder, this time of a homeless bum that considered that alley his home. His clothes were old and ragged, but were still enough for him. They even had hood, which was very important for masking his face.

Everything that needed to be done now finished, the ragged-clothed John Barley then fell into an uneasy sleep with many peculiar dreams. In these dreams he heard many voices coming from the vast darkness, saying things like: You are the original. You must kill your insane clone before it wrecks havoc on the whole city.

Then he saw his clone, in the middle of the city, wielding a pistol and shooting it at all the innocent passers-by, picking them off one-by-one. Screams of panic were heard all around the city, right before everything turned black again and the voices returned.

Your clone will stop at nothing, they muttered. You must kill it before it kills you.

The darkness then suddenly disappeared and in its place came the image of the clone again, its right hand full of blood and John Barley’s lifeless body on the floor next to him. The sign of a small, handheld weapon could be seen in the corner. The clone no doubt had relinquished it after killing the original. With a bloody, golden bracelet reading “002” in his other hand, the monstrosity of science laughed a maniacal laugh.

 

After this disturbing dream, John Barley then woke up in his small dumpster with a gasp. It was the wee hours of the morning when the Sun was just peeking from the horizon. John, horrified by the dream, searched his clothes for a small bracelet that he might have. He found it attached to his right foot, rusted and corroded but still readable. John made out two zeros and a short “1” after them. The astounding realism of his dream frightened him to the point of complete shock for many minutes.

The dead body of the bum was then tossed into the dumpster after the still-confused man regained his senses. There was only one objective now. That was to see to it that the clone is eliminated permanently.

With some difficulty of finding his way out, he then made his way to his house, which he reached in a matter of hours. Looking outside his window, he saw a much better-clothed John Barley already ruining his life. He (or, from John’s point of view, it) was screaming at what seemed to be the editor of his new book. John couldn’t let this happen. It was too unnerving. He would never act like that, especially in the face of a high-ranked publisher such as Don Freely.

A knock came on the door as the sophisticated-looking John Barley answered it, still badly tempered. The ragged clothed, hooded figure seemed very strange to him at first, since most of its face could not be made out thanks to the dark shadow the hood was casting.

“I am not giving any money to another useless charity,” he hollered. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“Why are you ruining my life?” muttered the stranger.

“What are you talking abou….. [gasp] You’re me!”

“I see you’ve recognized me now. Of course you have it all backwards. It’s not I who am you, but you who are me!”

“You’re talking nonsense. I’m not the clone. You are. Also, you know absolutely nothing about me! This is how I usually act with my publisher, because he is a total idiot!

“How dare you say that about Don Freely,” exclaimed John as he grabbed the clone by the throat. “He is a great man and I respect him.”

“Yes, you respect him because you don’t know anything about him. He said that instead of the wife being the real killer, the butler should be. Of course, because the butler ALWAYS does it, since he is paid SO LITTLE! He didn’t want my book to be an original, just another copy…”

“Maybe because you are a copy and don’t deserve to call yourself an original.”

Be quiet! I’m in no mood for this!! Go off before I kill you!”

You kill me? Ha! Don’t be silly. I have a very hard crowbar that I can wield and strike with pretty easily, since I used to take Kendo. Of course, being an imperfect clone, you don’t know that, do you?”

“What are you talking about? I never took martial arts! They have implanted some weird stuff into you.”

You are so pathetic. You know nothing about John Barley yet you keep insisting you are. Science hasn’t been able yet to copy the brain of a person perfectly and flawlessly, now has it? That’s why it’s just inserted only some of my brain’s information into you, along with a bunch of nonsense about me!”

“I’m afraid you’re starting to get on my nerves. Leave now before I call security!

“What if I do leave? Aren’t you afraid that I’ll cause harm to others under your name, getting you in trouble while I get off scott free?”

“No, I’m not worried, because they won’t recognize you.”

A perplexed look then crossed John’s face as the clone took out a stake knife and, faster than he could react, slashed it across his face, making a huge bloody scar run down the middle of it.

“There. Now no one will recognize you as anything but a deranged killer!”

“Damn you! I never expected this so soon, but it’s on! You’re a dead man!”

“Security,” cried the clone as two brawn gentlemen came to grab poor John and toss him out onto the front yard.

“It’ll take more than that to stop me,” the now dirt-filled John Barley muttered.

 

With that rude stranger taken care of temporarily and the problem with Don Freely now solved, John Barley was then ready to go to work at his part-time job as a data-manager for a large corporation. With the ragged-clothed version of him now irrecognizable by anyone and his house very well-protected with the best security in town, the writer had nothing to worry about but how to finish off the book with the last chapter. Would he make it an ending of sorrow and regret or an ending of happiness and hope? The real question was: Would he write it to from the wife’s point of view or the public’s?

This question never pondered him all day long, even when he had some very important financial data to graph. As always, he never ceased to multi-task: graphing all the data correctly and very neatly while still thinking hard about the final chapter and the message of the ending.

Although, he had more problems to worry about than work, since the final showdown for the real John Barley was about to begin. At 9:00, when the data-managing writer finally came home after hours of being stuck in traffic, he had noticed that the door of his house was wide open, with the jammed hairpin used to open it still in the keyhole.

“No, no,” he muttered, horrified. “This CAN’T BE!”

The terrified home-owner then raced into the living-room, where he saw the body of Don Freely, lifeless and lying in a pool of blood. There, right next to him, was the scar-faced monster that had killed him.

 

There the richly-clothed John Barley was, scared out of his wits as he saw the heavily-scarred version of him grunting angrily. He had killed another, this one very dear to him, for the means of getting his way and getting the chance to finally annihilate his clone once and for all. There was no turning back now, although he wished this was all just a nightmare; that he would wake up now any moment in the comfort of his own home, realizing that such a thing never happened. Oh, how he wished it! This clone had caused him nothing but harm!

What have you done to him?” cried his duplicate. “The best publisher I have ever had is now dead because of you!”

“I thought you hated him,” replied the killer. “Because he didn’t want your ideas to be original. I took care of that problem, now didn’t I?”

“You monster!!! What kind of madman CREATED you?!!!”

“I should ask YOU the same thing! I know you can’t realize this, but YOU’RE THE CLONE!! I watched you form before my eyes and escape!! I foresaw you causing havoc upon millions of INNOCENT CIVILLIANS!! I saw YOU on top of my lifeless body laughing like a madman!! That is why you must be DESTROYED!!”

With the blood-stained kitchen-knife still in his hand, John Barley then leaped for the clone in one quick movement, his “mirror-image” preparing to block with his arms held out and bracing himself for the horrible impact.

 

“Put away all those useless rifles my boy,” cried out the Professor excitedly. “It’s time! The battle has been won!”

“How do you know, Professor?” asked the young assistant enthusiastically.

“I have been watching the two through secret cameras. All the action, all the emotional drama, I haven’t missed a thing! This would make a great movie.”

“But how? For these last fifteen hours, I have only seen you staring into space!”

“Precisely! I have seen everything through my glasses: one eye, which shows me all the important things that are happening without leaving out any juicy details; and this eye, which acts as a normal glass lens, so I don’t trip, fall or lose myself.”

“Why haven’t you told me of any of this before?! I hate it how you’re so damn secretive!”

“Relax, my boy, everything will be answered once we get there. But we better get moving before the winner escapes!”

“Who won? The clone or the original?”

“You’ll see, my son, if we get there in time.”

“If you have been monitoring them for so long, how come you’ve never told us anything about their whereabouts?! We have a right to know!”

“Uhh….you young whippersnappers! You are so stubborn and impatient to know everything! I remember when I used to be your age…”

 

The ragged-clothed John Barley grunted heavily as he stared at the body of his exact duplicate, finally vanquished and bleeding rivers as he laughed maniacally. He had done it! Finally he had killed his clone and stopped it from murdering innocent people! He was a hero! That deranged experiment couldn’t ruin his life anymore! He was free! Free as the birds in the sky, as the fish in the Sea, as the….

Wait a minute, noticed he. The dead clone has dropped his bracelet.

Holding up the bracelet and smearing off the blood, his laughing then abruptly ended as his whole body froze. On the bracelet, read in clear letters, “001”.

“NO,” he cried. “This is IMPOSSIBLE! I’M the original! Me! My bracelet says..”

He then stood silent as he grabbed his corroded bracelet and scraped off the rust. Slowly, the one gained a loop at the top and a horizontal line on the bottom, forming itself into a “2”.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” hollered John Barley, who had now discovered that HE was the clone.

“Oh, yes,” answered a calm voice from the darkness.

“Who are you?” grunted the clone.

“I am the Professor, your Creator and the one who’s responsible for all the implants you’ve received in your brain….memories, dreams, etc. I combined some of the original’s memories along with what you witnessed in the beginning hours of your life, also adding some of my own “visions” and “plans”. These plans all involved your escape, your hiding, your own instincts and your dreams. It’s all been created or added and organized in such a fashion to make you think you were the original and to make you kill what you thought was the ‘clone’. Even the bracelet; it was rusted on purpose.”

“Oh, I understand, now, Professor,” replied the youngster. “But how come you tricked us as well by changing around their titles and sending all of our top security guards on a wild goose chase?”

“Because he’s a MADMAN, that’s WHY,” bellowed the clone. “He wanted no one but HIMSELF to know so that he trick me even more and make me go on wrong path even further!”

“Precisely,” replied the Professor calmly. “Except that I’m not a madman, but just a misunderstood genius.”

“MADMAN!! I’LL KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”

But before the clone could even leap forward in the direction of the Professor, a shot was fired that hit his right hand with a hard impact, causing him to drop his knife and tumble onto the floor.

“DAMN YOU!!” cried out the clone in sheer rage.

“Here, take it,” ordered the Professor, calmly, passing him the pistol. “Use it to kill anyone you wish. Thanks to my connections and my genius, you’ll always escape.”

“You’ve made a grave mistake by handing me this gun,” he replied, angrily, picking it up. With one swift movement, the clone was back on its feet and was firing continuous shots in the Professor’s direction.

Just as the first came a meter away from the Professor and his young assistant, a giant wall of bulletproof, transparent Lucite came out of the ground to absorb the impact.

“You fool,” replied the Professor strongly. “I can make these walls appear all over the place by just thinking it! You can’t harm me nor any of my assistants no matter how fast you shoot!”

“DAMN YOU!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, THEN?!!!!”

“Just what I told you a minute ago! Kill the public!!”

“WHY????!!!!”

“Because THEY’RE the ones who are NUTS!!! They always rejected my experiments no matter HOW ingenious they were or HOW hard I worked on them!! Day-and-night, night-and-day, 24/7/52.5!!!!! Nooooo, I’m not allowed to make these marvelous advancements in Science, because it’s MORALLY WRONG and it ENDANGERS THE ENVIRONMENT!! WHAT DO YOU NEED THE ENVIRONMENT FOR ANYWAY?!!! IT’S NOTHING BUT PLANTS, ANIMALS, WATER, WEATHER AND “FRESH” AIR!!!!! WE WON’T NEED IT FOR THE FUTURE!!!!”

“You really are mad. I’m not following you no matter what circumstances!”

“Oh, I’m afraid you don’t have a choice! Remember those implants, they’re not just visions and memories, they’re also COMMANDS!! I’ve mastered the art of inserting commands also…”

The clone then suddenly fell on the floor in pain, struggling for dear life, thousands of voices going through his head, muttering such things as: You’re different and the public doesn’t respect you! They find it as a weakness, not a STRENGTH! They ignore your talents for being able to keep in touch with your emotions! Kill them all! Kill them all! They deserve to die!

After many agonizing minutes of struggling the clone then got up off the ground, still fighting away the voices and picking up the gun that the Professor had handed him.

“There’s only one way to stop this madness,” he replied calmly, pointing the gun to his head.

“No, stop, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!” cried Professor.

A powerful shot then rang out as the Professor and his assistant raced over to the now third lifeless body in the house.

 

“Are you okay, man?” asked Fred Garcia once he saw his friend come into work. “You don’t look so good. Did you get into another fight with the publisher? I don’t think you and him make a very good pair, y’know. You’re always fighting and arguing. You’re like a damn married couple.”

“Let’s just say I had a rough night,” replied the unscarred face of John Barley, grinning evilly. “I could hardly get any sleep.”

 

The entire huge laboratory then froze as the sound of a loud, maniacal laugh rang out through the hallways, coming from the mouth of the Professor. After many minutes of this chilling, spine-tingling laugh, he then stopped and grinned silently, staring out through the window at his dozens of slowly growing clones.

“All we need is one hair,” he yelled out, holding up the strand of hair.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Alex Badila. All rights reserved.

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